Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hot Mess

No… I’m not talking about myself. I’m talking about this fantastic dinner I made the other night and subsequently have been eating the leftovers from for the past three nights. That’s good for something because this girl usually can’t stomach eating leftovers more than one time.


Isn’t it a beauty?

I kid.

But who cares when it tastes incredible and leaves me so full and satisfied?

Not me.


As a Foodbuzz Tastemaker, I received these three bottles of Crisco Olive Oil at no cost to sample and review. You know I love olive oil, I use it all the time. So, as you can imagine, I was pretty psyched. I was sent Crisco’s Pure Olive Oil, Extra Virgin and Light. As you can see in this picture, I cracked open the Pure. It sounded like the perfect one to use for roasting the veggies in the above dish.

Oh yes, more about that. What you see there is Vegetable Moussaka. Apparently Moussaka is a “Greek favorite”. Anyone out there who is Greek/more worldly than me (probably most everyone), is probably rolling his or her eyes. But listen, I’d never heard of Moussaka and fortunately now I have because this is going to be a regular around here.

Vegetable Moussaka adapted from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible


  • 1 large eggplant, cubed
  • 1 medium zucchini, cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 4 T Crisco Pure Olive Oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 t dried Thyme
  • 1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 15 oz can lentils, drained
  • 1 1/4 c plain non-fat yogurt (or Greek if you have it)
  • 2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten
  • pinch of paprika
  • 3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 T sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss eggplant, zucchini and red peppers into roasting pan. Drizzle with oil and toss. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme. Continue roasting for 35 minutes or until tender. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Stir in tomatoes with juices and lentils into roasted vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a four quart baking dish.

Beat the yogurt, eggs and paprika together and season with salt and pepper (if desired). Spread over vegetables and sprinkle with feta. Place on baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 10 minutes more, or until top is golden brown. Let stand for 5-10 minutes. Serve hot.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Monday, August 29, 2011

No scrambled eggs or bacon, I just have time for you

I’ve been a bad blogger. I’ve ate and made delicious things and didn’t take picture and have neglected to tell you about them in any capacity. Sorry. Kinda. Really I’ve been adjusting to having a school schedule again in the midst of trying to figure out my housing issue (waaah, don’t leave us Christine!). And I’m not gonna kid you, I’ve been a complete basket case to pretty much everyone. Luckily there are still many some willing to put up with me. And make me food when I’m sulking on the couch.


The man-friend, aka Matt, made me this delicious stir-fry. It was a combination of fried pork strips with baby corn, red peppers and spinach served atop rice noodles. My taste buds are still dreaming of this dish.


My friend Laura gave me this HUUUUUGE zucchini from her garden. I know you can’t tell but it was seriously as long as my forearm and crazy wide. I used it for two meals. One of said meals was an incredible zucchini lasagna with chickpea filling. I ate it all. As in the entire lasagna, by myself, in 4 sittings. I cubed the rest of this zucchini monster and cooked them up to serve alongside cauliflower rice and sesame-soy crusted chicken tenders.


Then I came home from work one day and near polished off the entire container of these. Whoever came up with them definitely had me in mind. So thank you.

I hope this brief recap was worth the wait. I’ll get my crap together I promise.

Is anyone else super busy/exhausted this time of year?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Friends Do Things Together, La La La La


This weekend was crazy busy but it was such a blast. On Saturday, after a bridal shower for one friend, I hit the road to Maine for another bridal shower yesterday. Of course, no trip to Maine is complete without a stop at the New Hampshire Liquor Store where I picked up Piña Colada mix for happy hour cocktails.


I found this awesome pre-mixed Pina Colada by Bacardi that’s made with coconut water and pineapple juice. It’s super refreshing but definitely has a punch. We enjoyed a round before heading out to dinner.


We ventured to dinner at a new-to-us restaurant, Pasta’z.



The entrees are served in skillets which is different but pretty cool. I had the chicken, broccoli and ziti. It stayed warm to the very last bite. The garlic bread was super-garlicky but I liked it.


We shared a couple of Caprese salads and a bottle of pinot noir. Our meal left us sufficiently stuffed and in search of a nightcap. We ended the evening at our local watering hole with a round of margaritas and some great people watching.


{me and my homies, we’re tighter than a glove}


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I’ll take a “Sandwedge”


Did anyone else ever look forward to Headlines on Jay Leno every Monday night? Well I did. For the longest time I was on the hunt to find something in print worth submitting. Now I don’t care about sending it to Leno because I can’t keep my eyes open til 11:30 to watch his show. But you, my readers, are deserving of a chuckle. (Does his Headlines segment still exist? Does anyone still watch Leno?)

Well anyway, I got this menu in the mail today in one of those ValuPak coupon envelopes. I know they are pretty much junk but I always flip through them anyway. I’m so glad I did or I would never have found this gem! Sandwedges?! The only sand wedge I’ve ever heard of is the one used to hit golf balls out of sand bunkers.


Apparently I can pick myself up one of these edible sandwedges at a dining establishment where I can “Dine on the Wild Side”. I’m assuming this slogan is directly related to the the restaurant’s location near Franklin Park Zoo.

But wait. There was another menu in my ValuPak today.


More sandwedges!!! And if you look above the gray boxes it says, “Ask WAITRON for Today’s special”. A Waitron? I’m assuming that’s some sort of robot-waitress. Anyone else? I also noticed a startling similarity between this menu and the previous one. Does anyone else see it?

Picnik collage


Sandwedges for everyone!

Anyway… all that talk reading about sandwedges made me hungry so I got to work in the kitchen.


Leftover black bean, mango, millet and quinoa salad became black bean-mango-quinoa burgers!


These were gooooooood. And perfectly complemented by the sriracha-lime mayo I whipped up and leftover rosemary roasted potatoes reheated in the toaster oven.

This is how I made them: first, I made this – Joy the Baker’s Quinoa Black Bean Mango Salad. Then today I took the leftovers and dumped it in my food processor and processed until it became a blob. <---- best descriptive word I could come up with. I then formed patties in my hand and coated the patties in whole wheat panko and tossed into a preheated, oiled grill pan. I flipped a few times until they were browned and then served. Easy right?


Hint: if you use Joy’s recipe to make the salad it will make a ton of “burger meat” once you process it so I’d say you could make a good 6-8 burgers depending on how big you like them.

I’m off to bed… it’s been a long, draining day and I need to unwind.

What’s your favorite thing to make in the food processor?

I seriously use mine just about every other day, it’s hands down the most worthwhile appliance one can own. THAT’S A FACT.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vacation Memories–Kodak Gallery Photo Book

As a member of Foodbuzz’s Tastemaker Program I was selected to create my own complimentary Kodak Gallery Photo Book and share both the product and the experience with my readers.

This opportunity seemed like the perfect way to showcase my recent vacation photos so that I could share them in an organized way. I don’t know about you but I usually either upload vacation photos to Facebook or they sit around in a folder on my computer that I barely look at.

The process is fairly simple to make a photo book. You create an account, pick the book you want to make and then upload your photos so you can drag and drop them into the book. So easy I could do it. Apparently you can also import pictures from your Facebook account. I didn’t do that but that’s a pretty cool feature.



These are a few of the pages in the book I created. As you can see, I could choose different photo layouts and the size of the pictures on the different pages.

I’ll show you the finished product when it arrives but since I thought this was such a great and fun product, I have a discount code to offer all of you to use to make your own Kodak Gallery Photo Book!

Click here to receive 40% off your own photo book!

Happy Creating! On that note, I’m obsessed with this song. It’s the perfect one for a dreary Sunday afternoon.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Stuff & Things

First things first, I’m loving this song, as creepy as this creature is…


I’m missing vacation something fierce…


Not that it isn’t nice to be home.

But things may be changing a bit around here. Up until now this has pretty much been a food blog with recipes and pictures. Once in awhile I throw in some puppy posts in the mix but again, things are changing.

As you may have gathered from my posts while I was in Florida, I’m back in school. My very intensive graduate program begins in about a week! So on top of working full-time, I’ll be a full-time student. I’m not complaining, just giving you an idea of what’s to come.

Basically, I have a feeling I’ll be doing less creative cooking. For instance, I had a project due this week so “dinner” the other night was a bowl of crispy rice cereal and a beer. Don’t get me wrong, it was completely satisfying. But my point is, there won’t be primarily food posts on the blog. Since I want to continue to blog as much as I can, I hope you don’t mind if I blog more about what I’ve been up to. Essentially I’ll be recapping my shenanigans as I navigate a full-time job, full-time graduate student status, a crazy dog and being broke.

Still with me? Hope so. We’d miss you if you left.


Oh, and I had zucchini for dinner tonight (happy mom?) so don’t worry, I still have taste buds.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Hollywood Brown Derby


There is one place we always try to visit when in Walt Disney World – The Hollywood Brown Derby.




The décor is comprised mainly of ornate molding and dark wood. Illustrations of famous Hollywood patrons adorn the walls.


Our three-course prix-fixe menu began with: lobster bisque for mom, cobb salad for myself (they have one of the best I’ve ever had) and a crab cake for dad.



Next we chose our entrees. Mom and dad both went with the steak and I went with a noodle dish topped with coconut encrusted tofu.


Check out the presentation on that steak! It was delicious too… each bite melted in my mouth (because of course I had to try it… a few times).


My noodle bowl was so good. It was chock full of bokchoy, edamame, snow peas and mushrooms. The coconut encrusted tofu was out-of-this-world good.


We finished up the meal with the dessert course. Mom went with the decadent chocolate cake, dad went with the grapefruit cake (one of the Brown Derby’s specialties) and I went with a caramelized apple cheesecake.



Check out that slice of dried grapefruit! It was huge and super-thin.

The Hollywood Brown Derby did not disappoint. Not only were our meals delicious but it was apparent that a lot of attention went into the composition of each dish.

The prix-fixe menu set us back $60/person plus tax & gratuity. It included our choices for each course and non-alcoholic drinks. Not only that but it also afforded us priority seating for Disney’s Hollywood Studios Fireworks Show, Fantasmic. Unfortunately the show was rained out but we did get to enjoy it later in the week.

Do you have any spots you must-dine at when on vacation? Or do you like to try new things every time?

I like to think we did a combination of tried & true and new on this vacation. The Hollywood Brown Derby is one we’ve been to many times but we tried a new one that I can’t wait to tell you about in a future post!

Thursday, August 4, 2011



Yep – I’m in Walt Disney World. We checked into Disney's Boardwalk Villas on Monday after leaving Fort Lauderdale and have been soaking up the sounds, sights and of course, tastes.





This is my first time staying at this Disney hotel but not my first time to The Boardwalk. It’s always been a great place to visit because there are several restaurants and entertainment venues. Plus, it’s absolutely gorgeous. Not to mention, we can walk to both Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot from here. And given the serious food & alcohol consumption I’ve been doing, walking is good.


We aren’t doing any crazy park-hopping. Rather we are leisurely enjoying Disney without an agenda.


With that said, we are off to Epcot today. I hear there is a fantastic margarita bar in the Mexico Pavilion calling my name.

Any Disney suggestions? Places we can’t miss to eat or drink at?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Leaving Ft. Lauderdale

Picnik collage

In about an hour we are leaving Fort Lauderdale. Though I was here for a 3-day orientation for my graduate school program, I still did get to enjoy my surroundings.



We enjoyed some delicious food.



And had our share of frozen drinks (many enjoyed poolside).






Though we’ve had a great stay in Fort Lauderdale, I’m ready for the next leg of our vacation. See you from there!